1 comment / Posted by Lindsay Emery

This sculptural bouquet was made with grocery store flowers and foraged leftovers from my summer garden. The selection at my local grocery store is often fairly dull and predictable, but the flowers are conveniently located right next to the produce and wine, so I overlook this. Convenience wins. And they're also incredibly affordable. The flowers in this arrangement cost $12. I filled in gaps and added interest with garden remnants. Color, texture, and shape are what matter most when you're composing an arrangement. Thinking about these design elements also makes it easy to find flowers worth bringing home, even in a fluorescent lit place where you could pick up a pack of diapers and canned cheese, if you were so inclined. 

I selected a tarnished vintage cut crystal ice bucket as the vessel for this arrangement. It's elegant but also unexpectedly quirky without being distracting. If you're using this arrangement as a centerpiece on a dining table then the ice bucket also reinforces a food and dining theme. Its low profile makes it a great choice for a tabletop arrangement.

The Duty Miller went in first with the lowest leaves just touching the rim.

A big pompom like Mum went in next.

Then roses were added to fill the space. I kept these at varying heights to add interest. There are four roses here but you'll see later a fifth is added to balance out the arrangement. Odd numbers are you friends in composition, so keep that in mind if things begin looking a little too flat and boring. Even numbers may be to blame.

A stalk of Delphinium is added next. The long lyrical shape mimics some of the smaller gestural lines created by the Dusty Miller beneath it. We're beginning to set the shape of the arrangement now, and one longer and taller side will help us to achieve a subtle triangle shape which brings a lot of visual energy and interest.

Next another two stems of Dusty Miller are added on the right side.

I then added dried Black-Eyed Susans to bring a new bold texture, a dark black color, and an overall autumn quality that was previously missing. You could easily use Craspedia here instead, with their round cotton-ball like flowers on top of a narrow stem to achieve similar results.

Rosemary sprigs were added to the left and right side and more Delphinium stalks were added. These were placed in front of and behind the other flowers to keep an effortless appearance to the whole bunch. If the flowers don't overlap and are kept distantly separated they can look stuffy and formal, and this wasn't the look I wanted.

Lastly I added that dripping vibrant red flower. Does anyone know what it is? This one really shocked me when I found it in my garden. It is flowering Pineapple Sage! What a surprise! Anything vine-like or leafy would work here instead. A small twig of vibrantly colored leaves from a tree that has recently turned would be especially beautiful. This arrangement is all about using what you have available in the places you already go, whether it's your front yard or your grocery store. If you focus on color, texture, and shape you'll be able to create artful arrangements out of just about anything!

(Shown with Suite One Studio Gold Rimmed Dessert Plates available here.)


Flower-Arrangement-Ready Ice Buckets:



  • Posted On November 28, 2014 by Rié | Portobello Design Blog

    A lovely post. Thank you for showing the break down of the arrangement. While I always admire beautiful floral arrangements, such as yours, I can only manage a single flower or single color arrangement. I will have to review and practice your steps. Gorgeous! Thank you! All the best, Rié

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